Best of SNO

Netflix’s ‘Crash Landing on You’ humanizes North Korea

The cast of

By Anna Feng, Carlmont High School

May 28, 2020

Out of all the k-dramas I've seen so far in 2020, Netflix's 2019 release "Crash Landing on You" is by far the most unique. The series follows a wealthy heiress named Yoon Se-Ri, who lands in North Korea after a paragliding accident. She is found by Captain Ri Jeong Hyeok of Company 5, the military...

‘Mrs. America’ reifies relevance of ERA

Men and women polled by the ERA Coalition were asked to indicate the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with the statement:

By Sophie Casey '20, Staples High School

May 26, 2020

For me, “Mrs. America” is a gradually unfurling, forgone tragedy. I already know the ill-fated story of the fall of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). In the margins of a 10th grade notebook, I scribbled annotations on our country’s abiding inability to ensure equality on the basis of sex.  ...

What’s not to like about Project Daisy?

In a Shield poll on the MacJournalism Instagram account, 238 of 327 respondents said they did not support the initiative to hide like counts on other people’s Instagram posts. Illustration by Anna McClellan.

By Grace Nugent, McCallum High School

May 22, 2020

“He loves me...he loves me not” goes the age-old childhood game, also known as effeuiller la marguerite, which originated in France long before the thought of social media was born. The game involves picking petals off a daisy to find out if one’s love interest loves them back. But now it’s mostly...

REVIEW: Never Have I Ever: The other side of The Valley

Mindy Kaling’s new Netflix series “Never Have I Ever” premiered on April 27, 2020.

By Margaret Huang, Pleasant Valley High School - IA

May 15, 2020

The raunchy party game Never Have I Ever is best known for its role in revealing the most unsuspecting people’s most risque hidden sides. Befitting the divulging nature of the party game, Netflix’s new original series, created by Mindy Kaling, effortlessly delivers a refreshing take on the tried...

Stealing art does not just mean reposting

Art theft is a growing problem in the art community. Character thieves make subtle changes to a character to make it seem like the character is theirs.

By Miki Nguyen, Carlmont High School

May 12, 2020

When people think of an art thief, most think of either physical art thieves who steal paintings or people who repost someone else's art without credit. Both are harmful, but other types of art theft go beyond simply reposting the work of another without accredidation. Reposting is the leading way...

Welcome to the “dreamer’s hotel”

Enter Shikari, a post-hardcore band based in Hertfordshire, England, revamped the electronicore genre with their recent album, “Nothing is True & Everything is Possible.” From local politics in the United Kingdom to gun violence in the United States and global warming, this album encourages listeners to question the media and divulge in the sinister idea that “everything is possible.”

By Rachel Laposka, Starr's Mill High School

May 1, 2020

Musical genres are weird: there is a vast list of them, most of which are not as widely known as others. A majority of those genres derive from more commonly known genres. Ones like rock, pop, rap, EDM, and classical are often blended together to form a whole new genre. In hindsight, blending polar...

Tara Westover’s ‘Educated’ redefines what an education is

Tara Westover's memoir

By Jacqueline Barba, Downers Grove South High School

April 28, 2020

In the era of remote learning, where many students are finding it difficult to focus on school work, much less teach themselves new material, many are now struggling to understand what exactly learning is when it isn’t the traditional format they’re accustomed to. In Tara Westover’s 2018 memoir...

The truth behind the lights and cameras

Hollywood doesn't correctly show reality, which can alter perspectives and be misleading.

By Jessica Conley, Carlmont High School

April 27, 2020

Oftentimes, what is depicted in Hollywood doesn't accurately reflect reality. However, people sometimes base their career aspirations on what they see in the movies, as they tend to believe that the careers depicted aren’t falsely portrayed. This industry began in the early 1900s when Hollywood...

A guide to the poetic side of rap: the underappreciated lingua franca of music

Rap has many of its roots in poetry. The Sidekick staff writer Akif Abidi thinks that many overlook the artistry behind the writing in the genre.

By Akif Abidi, Coppell High School

April 23, 2020

“Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world...And makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” These are the words of Romantic era English poet Percy Blysshe Shelley. Since the dawn of time, poetry and music have held a special space in society. One could argue the...

‘Killing Eve’ returns with everything viewers expected

By Violet Jira, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

April 22, 2020

The game of cat and mouse is one we have seen a thousand times. From sophisticated dramas like “Sherlock” to Saturday morning cartoons like “Tom and Jerry,” the trope is everywhere and can sometimes seem as old as time itself.  Nevertheless, BBC managed to take the dry narrative and spin it...

‘Uncorked’ finally combats the issue of self-determination in the black family

By Madison Meeks, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

April 17, 2020

The black community has struggled with the concept of self-determination since Reconstruction. We see this in the history books with Booker T. Washington, W.E.B DuBois, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcom X. The black community has overcome a lot of external injustices such as hiring and voting discrimination and segregation. W...

“The Timing Was Right”: Bob Dylan’s Newest Release Isn’t a Coincidence

Bob Dylan released “Murder Most Foul,” his first original song since 2012, on March 26, 2020.

By Emma Chiu, Woodside High School - CA

April 15, 2020

If you’re looking for a cheerful pop tune with a catchy backbeat, Bob Dylan’s newest song, “Murder Most Foul,” may not be for you. But, in darker times—such as the current coronavirus pandemic—the haunting ballad provides an unexpected comfort. For Dylan, the songwriter so talented he won ...

It took Vega four years to make ‘Decade’

Daniel Vega plays the drums with his band Zlam Dunk during the band’s third tour. Vega said he wasn’t sure where and when the photo was taken but his best guess was that it was in Philadelphia in 2011. “It was the longest tour we ever did,” Vega recalled, “roughly five weeks on the road, living in a van and crashing on floors. Best time of my life, other than getting married and teaching at McCallum obviously.” The extended spring break gave the math teacher the chance to realize an album project that has been four years in the making. The album,

By Janssen Transier, McCallum High School

April 9, 2020

When current math and computer science teacher Daniel Vega started work with lead vocalist Charlie Day on the six-track album Decade, the world was still mourning the deaths of David Bowie and Prince, Donald Trump was making the late-night talk show circuit, you could still find crowds of people in the park hunting for P...

Conan Gray’s tribute to teenage angst, ‘Kid Krow’

By Lily Langstaff, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

April 7, 2020

In case you weren’t around in the indie pop scene in Nov. 2018, 19-year-old Conan Gray debuted his first EP, “Sunset Season.” Flash forward to March 2020, and Conan, now 21, just released his first full-length studio album, “Kid Krow.” From his YouTube beginning, Conan has had an incredible...

Donald Glover Transcends Pop With New Album “3.15.20”

Childish Gambino goes post-minimal for the cover of his new album, possibly as an ode to the Beatles’ “White” album.

By Logan Roach, Middleton High School - WI

April 7, 2020

After four years of anticipation from fans, Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino has released his fourth studio album “3.15.20” on March 22, 2020. Following his last album “Awaken, My Love” which featured the hit single “Redbone,” Gambino abstracts himself even further from the top 40 pop...

Was “Self Made” the story of a black hero or another political agenda?

By Cameron Thomas, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

April 3, 2020

To me, black history is an endless story of resilience--telling, no matter how far we are set back, we will always find a way to overcome. To the makers of "Self Made," however, black history is an endless fight among self. Though this may be true to an extent, using the over-sensationalization of the...

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness has taken over Netflix

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness has taken over Netflix during the quarantine.

By Jaiman White, Baldwin High School - PA

April 1, 2020

In the craziness that has become the self-quarantine state of stopping the spread of the coronavirus, Netflix has released the docu-series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, which has showcased crazy on a whole different level. The documentary focuses on the small but connected community of big...

‘Future Nostalgia’ is seamless combination of old and new

Dua Lipa released her sophomore album, Future Nostalgia, on Friday. A combination of both new and old sounds, it was preceded by lead single “Don’t Start Now”, her highest charting song in the U.S. to date.

By Anthony Cesario, Coppell High School

March 31, 2020

With the release of Future Nostalgia on Friday, Dua Lipa has done a full 180 on the term “sophomore slump” and created one of the best pop albums of the last decade. Far surpassing the quality of her 2017 self-titled debut album, Future Nostalgia lives up perfectly to its title by recalling the glor...

Megan Thee Stallion give her fans a sweet treat with the release of ‘Suga’

In her latest album, Megan Thee Stallion gets personal about her struggles.

By Violet Jira, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

March 30, 2020

Hot Girl Summer isn’t here yet, but new music from Megan Thee Stallion is! Nearly a year after the Houston rapper graced us with her first full-length project “Fever,” Megan has blessed us yet again, this time, with her album “Suga.” While this album was, by and large, very different from h...

Childish Gambino returns with mysterious album “3.15.20”

Donald Glover (also known as Childish Gambino) released a new album titled

By Jack Ging, Lia Reichmann, Editor-in-Chief, and Saba Ali, Editor-in-Chief

March 30, 2020

On March 15, Donald Glover (also known as Childish Gambino) held a surprise premiere of his newest full-length album by streaming it repeatedly throughout the day on The following weekend on March 22, the album was officially released on all streaming services as “3.15.20” with...

‘Kid Krow’ offers a poignant look into Gen Z adolescence

Conan Gray performs at U Street Music Hall, Washington, D.C. in 2019.

By Anna Feng, Carlmont High School

March 25, 2020

What do you get when you cross Lorde's melancholy with The 1975's sound and Taylor Swift's songwriting skills? Why, Conan Gray, of course. Gray's newest album, "Kid Krow," captures both the intense highs and lows of adolescence, from having unrequited crushes to losing bonds with best friends. It...

Out Of His “Idle Town”: Review of Conan Gray’s “The Comfort Crowd Tour”

For his performance of

By Taila Lee, Woodside High School - CA

March 24, 2020

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA— Sad, soulful, and sassy, YouTuber-turned-pop-star Conan Gray is a rising king of dream pop with his down-to-earth lyrics, comforting voice, and growing fanbase. Gray took the world by storm with his debut EP “Sunset Season” at age 20, and his poignant performance at the...

Harley Quinn dismantles the patriarchy with ‘Birds of Prey: The Album’.

The cover of the sweet, yet dangerous, 'Birds of Prey: The Album'.

By Mason Montano, Pinole Valley High School

March 18, 2020

Following the success of American superhero film Suicide Squad in mid-2016, DC announced a spin-off centered around the character Harley Quinn, titled Birds of Prey, which was released in mid-February and sees Quinn assembling a team of female supervillains after finding herself in the face of dange...

Overcoming ‘Brain Pain’

Four Year Strong, a melodic hardcore band based in Massachusetts, recently released their seventh studio album titled “Brain Pain.” The album is composed of 12 songs that discuss the challenges that come along with overcoming insecurities and anxieties that plague people in their day-to-day lives.

By Rachel Laposka, Starr's Mill High School

March 16, 2020

Melodic hardcore is a genre not many people are familiar with by name. Deriving from skate punk, the genre incorporates sounds from punk rock and hardcore punk, blending harsh and gritty vocals with melodic guitar riffs. Bands like Avenged Sevenfold and Killswitch Engaged set the bar for the broad genre...

‘American Dirt’ book whitewashes experience of Mexican immigrants


By Jacqueline Barba, Downers Grove South High School

March 16, 2020

“American Dirt,” written by Jeanine Cummins proves that writing about experiences you can only imagine is never the foundation for good writing. The novel tells the story of Lydia and Luca, the wife and child of a murdered journalist from Mexico, as they attempt to cross the border to the U.S. Described...

Miss Anthropocene by Grimes – Review

The album art to Grimes' first studio since 2015 album, Miss Anthropocene

By James Martini, Jesuit High School

March 13, 2020

In February of this year, Canadian artist Grimes released her fifth studio album, Miss Anthropocene, her first release since her 2015 album Art Angels. Her latest release features heavy, electronic sounds and dark, morbid lyrics and imagery to criticize the way people have abandoned their values in favor...

Can I steal for you a sec?

By Bella Grumet, Walt Whitman High School

March 12, 2020

When I asked my parents if I could watch “The Bachelor” during my freshman year, their answer was an immediate and definitive no. They believed the show promoted promiscuity and toxic masculinity; they wanted to shelter me from that kind of negative influence. Little did they know, I didn't need...

A Better Place

By Julia Poppa, North Allegheny Senior High School

March 12, 2020

I’ve had my fair share of existential crises: nights spent in bed staring at the ceiling wondering about the significance of my life and contemplating some of life’s most notorious unanswered questions. But what I have realized is that our biggest questions do not lie within the size of the universe...

EXCLUSIVE: That Kid spills the tea on his upcoming debut mixtape, ‘Crush’.

That Kid as he appears in one of his Instagram posts.

By Mason Montano, Pinole Valley High School

March 11, 2020

Last week, American singer-songwriter and hyper pop star That Kid officially announced his upcoming debut mixtape, Crush. The reveal was met with much excitement from the underground pop community, who had been looking forward to the project ever since he began teasing it late last year, and over the we...

Tame Impala returns with serendipitous “The Slow Rush”

Tame Impala’s new album “The Slow Rush” is serendipitous and dreamy, perfectly embodying Kevin Parker’s signature psychedelic sound.

By Riya Mehta and Amrita Himmatraopet

March 11, 2020

On Feb. 14, psychedelic rock musician Kevin Parker, more famously known as Tame Impala, released his fourth studio album “The Slow Rush.” Mysterious and echoey, the album begins with a fast beat and ominous tone on “One More Year.” Parker talks about living life to the fullest without any...

Jake Germain is the next best thing: A breakdown of his singles era.

Jake Germain as he appears in an early 2019 press photoshoot.

By Mason Montano, Pinole Valley High School

March 5, 2020

Known for his Queer heartbreak anthems and extensive use of autotune for vocal effect, American singer-songwriter and producer Jake Germain’s career began when he uploaded his debut single, “Lonely Nights”, to SoundCloud in September 2016. He later gained some notoriety on the underground pop...

All this music must fade: modern albums of classic rock artists

A picture from a 1974 'Billboard' magazine featuring the original members of The Who. From left to right, John Entwhistle, Keith Moon, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. Now, roughly 40 years later, Townshend and Daltrey are still making music, with their latest release in Dec. 2020, WHO.

By Owen Cummings, Walnut Hills High School

March 5, 2020

Music can be easy to forget. There’s so much of it out there that it’s impossible to listen to and certainly keep track of. Every artist has their high points, low points, a beginning and an ending. Some careers are long lasting, and some are over in a day. But those who have been lucky enough to...

Outta This World


By Kristen Kinzler, North Allegheny Senior High School

March 4, 2020

Some cowboys, a few aliens, one nostalgic love story, and a thrilling murder mystery. This may sound like something that resembles a bad joke, but it’s also a pretty accurate description of  Roswell, New Mexico-- a show that may, quite literally, have it all. Roswell was originally a TV show tha...

Review: The Book Of Gutsy Women inspires readers

The Book Of Gutsy Women is a compilation of stories of strong and hardworking women made to inspire people everywhere.

By Melissa May, Fossil Ridge High School

March 3, 2020

The Book Of Gutsy Women, written by Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, was published on October 1, 2019, and it is a timely piece of literature revolving around the timeless social issue of feminism. The book is filled with more than one hundred stories of resilient and courag...

‘Honey Boy’ ain’t so sweet: Shia LaBeouf’s flawed return to Hollywood

By Ella Kitt, Flintridge Sacred Heart

March 3, 2020

“They’ve got cameras everywhere, you dummy! I’ve got more millionaire lawyers than you know what to do with!” yells a man from the backseat of a police car. An officer outside of the car calmly flips through a pile of papers. The man continues to scream. Many know him as Stanley from “Holes”...

When They See Us: Story of the incarceration of innocent boys

In 1989, five teens that came to be known as the Central Park Five were wrongly convicted of raping a 28-year old woman named Trisha Meili. The Netflix series, “When They See Us” details the boys’ unjustified conviction and how the truths of the case were uncovered.

By Alishba Javaid, Coppell High School

March 2, 2020

After casually scrolling through Netflix and deciding to watch a new show recommended to me, I did not expect to become an emotional wreck the next day after binge watching it. The four-part limited series, “When They See Us”, debuted on May 31 on Netflix. The Emmy award-winning show is based ...

Nice While It Lasted

Bojack and Todd's relationship, while verbally abuse, remains one of the closest knit ones in the show.

By Brooke Huffman, Wentzville Liberty High School

February 28, 2020

(Spoilers Ahead) In 2014, Netflix introduced the world to Bojack Horseman - an anthropomorphic alcoholic horse, weighed down by his own self-loathing - and on Jan. 31, he said his final goodbyes. This tragicomedy surrounding Bojack and his quirky cast of friends brings nuance to the adult animation...

Xenophobia in the music industry

Korean-pop group BTS broke into the American music industry the past couple years

By Zara Iqbal and Claire Yang

February 27, 2020

They broke Taylor Swift’s record for the most viewed YouTube video in 24 hours. They’re the first group since The Beatles to have three Billboard No. 1’s within one year. They’ve garnered the most Twitter engagement ever recorded on the platform, exceeding Harry Styles’ record. In 2019 alone,...

“Bedroom pop”- the young artists changing the music industry, and Generation Z, through self-production

A Bedroom Pop playlist can be found on The Rubicon Spotify @therubiconspa.

By Evelyn Sampsell-Jones, St. Paul Academy and Summit School

February 26, 2020

People find magic in music because they are able to relate to it. This is the reason why different genres come into prominence as times change- the Silent generation (born 1925-1945) loved big band and jazz. Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) witnessed the beginnings of rock and the heydays of genres like...

Halsey unveils her inner mind in album “Manic”

Halsey's album cover hints at the raw, honest feel of her newest songs.

By Lauren Chen and Harshita Neralla

February 26, 2020

Releasing her third studio album “Manic” on Jan. 17, Halsey reverts to her hollowed vocals and rebellious lyrics, finding creative solace within her own life and focusing on the person behind her persona: 25-year-old New Jersey native Ashley Frangipane. Incorporating concepts from her imagination,...

BTS Inspires and Dominates the World with Mature and Artistic New Album

South Korean powerful boy group BTS releases newest sentimental album “Map of the Soul: 7,” and it is already topping charts and “taking names.”

By Laura Renfroe, Pelahatchie High School

February 25, 2020

The chart-topping, charismatic, and all-time biggest boy band in the world right now just released their new album, and it has thrown the whole continent in a frenzy of euphoria and Spotify-streaming. The record-crashing South Korean boy group BTS continues to stir the world and showcase their incredible...

Despite immense global impact, BTS doesn’t receive the recognition they deserve

The 62nd Grammys took place on January 26th, 2020.  The show featured an opening act performed by Lizzo, many tributes to the recently passed Kobe and Gianna Bryant, and Billie Eilish taking home many awards, including Record of the Year.  While the show may have seemed complete and normal, something felt like it was missing, and that was international sensation BTS.

By Caleb Stipkovits, Minneapolis South High School

February 25, 2020

International sensation BTS just dropped a new album, Map of the Soul: 7.  The album, according to Forbes, sold over 4 million copies in preorders, and the total sales number has been increasing since its release on February 21st, 2020.  The success of BTS is undeniable, but something feels like i...

The revival of nu-metal

On Feb. 14, nu-metal band Hollywood Undead released their sixth studio album titled “New Empire, Vol. 1.” Each of the nine tracks on the album tells a story, detailing the hardships of coming to terms with who you are. Lyrically, “New Empire, Vol. 1” is tamer than the band’s previous records, but the content still lives up to the edgy standard the band has gathered over time.

By Rachel Laposka, Starr's Mill High School

February 24, 2020

Nu-metal is a genre that some argue died back in the mid-2000s as various bands began to hop on the bandwagon. Many of these bands over-produced albums claiming to fall into the metal subgenre, leading to the inevitable decline of nu-metal. The genre was booming from the late ‘90s to about 2000, following...

Look at This!

Reka Götz begins a sketch in pd 8/9 Honors Art class.

By Julia Poppa, North Allegheny Senior High School

February 24, 2020

Réka Götz is not your average, run-of-the-mill high school art student. While many of NASH’s students who study art are full of talent and aspiration, there may be none more talented than Götz. Götz is an 11th grader at NASH with a passion for visual art. She has achieved what most artists only...

Arnoldus: Why Angie Thomas’ New Book is “On the Come Up!”

Following the success of

By Linda Arnoldus, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

February 21, 2020

Angie Thomas has done it again. Her debut novel, “The Hate U Give,” became a #1 New York Times Bestseller, touching the hearts of many with its lovable characters and politically relevant commentary about the prevalence of police brutality in the African American community. “The Hate U Give” wa...

Once on This Island tour docks in Houston

The company of the North American tour of

By Arrington Linder, Clear Creek High School

February 21, 2020

After closing on Broadway in early 2019, Once on This Island embarked on a national tour in October later that year. As a part of their 2019-2020 season, Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) is housing the Once on This Island National Tour until March 1. The musical begins with the storytellers setting the stage...

‘High Road’: Kesha reclaims her spirit on fourth album

A candle modeled after Kesha burns as the cover artwork of 'High Road.' The album was released Jan. 31, 2020, has sixteen tracks and five features.

By Anna Drabik, Londonderry High School

February 21, 2020

Kesha’s career has been a long, winding path up a certainly steep mountain. From 2010’s party girl phase (Animal and Cannibal) to her raw, soul-bearing third album, titled Rainbow, Kesha has consistently delivered in all her musical endeavors, even with a troubled personal life. 2020’s High Road continues ...

Mercy in the Face of Injustice

Michael B. Jordan (left) and Jamie Foxx in

By Maleah Downton, Notre Dame de Sion

February 20, 2020

“Mercy is just when it is rooted in hopefulness and freely given,” activist lawyer Bryan Stevenson wrote in his New York Times Bestselling memoir “Just Mercy.” Adapted to film by director Destin Daniel Cretton, “Just Mercy,” premiered Dec. 25, portrays one man’s resilient fight for justice...

Review: Tame Impala perfects his style in The Slow Rush

The Slow Rush, Tame Impala's fourth album and first since 2015, was released on Friday, February 14.

By Melissa May, Fossil Ridge High School

February 19, 2020

On Friday, February 14, Kevin Parker, better known as Tame Impala, released his fourth and newest album, entitled The Slow Rush. The album was his first since the release of his third album in 2015, Currents, and it immediately became apparent upon listening that he had a clear cut idea before even begi...

Sorry Scorsese, Marvel movies are cinema

Martin Scorsese has recently declared that the films of the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) are not true cinema.

By Rohan Dewan, Richard Montgomery High School - MD

February 17, 2020

The cinema has been an integral component of American society since the year 1895, when prolific inventor Thomas Edison developed the world’s first Kinetoscope, thus enabling the creation of the movie theater. His invention ushered in a new field of entertainment that would displace radio shows and...

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